Dairy Free Me

Living without dairy and eggs

Vegan and Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

I made this vegan and gluten-free cake for my husband's birthday. The cake consists of gluten-free chocolate sponge, sandwiched with chia seed jam and dairy-free buttercream. The cake is covered in chocolate fudge topping, and topped with cornflake clusters and vegan chocolates.

Baking the cake

I am not a good enough baker to make up my own cake recipes from scratch, so the chocolate sponge is from the excellent Ms Cupcake vegan recipe book, using Doves Farm gluten-free self raising flour in place of regular flour. I didn't want to make a huge cake so I followed the recipe for a single layer of a standard size cake. I wanted the cake to have layers, so instead of baking in a single cake tin, I split the mixture into two 9 inch square cake tins, and halved the baking time (about 10-15 minutes, rather than 20-25 minutes). Once the cake was cooled I cut each cake in half so that I had four rectangles of chocolate cake.


Vegan gluten-free chocolate cake

As a vague attempt to make the cake healthy (it wasn't...) I decided to make some chia seed jam for the filling. This is really easy to do - I heated about 2 cups of frozen berries with a little water in a saucepan until the berries were fully defrosted, and cooked down enough to be mashed up. I blended the fruit with a stick blender, then added 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and a tablespoon of golden syrup.

I have to admit that I cheated with the dairy-free buttercream and I used a tub of shop-bought buttercream. My favourite is Betty Crocker's cream cheese style icing. For this cake I added a teaspoon of cocoa powder to half of the tub of the buttercream to make it chocolate flavoured. Rest assured that there is no butter and no cheese in the ingredients of this product! I realised some time ago that quite a few of these ready-made icing pots are 'accidentally' dairy-free. However they may not be suitable for use if you have a severe allergy to dairy, so do make sure you check the label. If you want to make dairy-free buttercream from scratch then see my dairy-free buttercream.

To assemble the cake I spread buttercream and some jam between each layer. I trimmed the corners of the cake to make the layers line up nicely, and then covered the sides of the cake with the buttercream as a crumb coat.


The topping of this cake is my chocolate fudge icing recipe. For this cake I used double the recipe as I wanted to cover the sides as well as just the top. I poured it over the cake while the icing was still warm and runny and left it to set. I also made a little extra icing (about half the original recipe) to make cornflake clusters. These are just cornflakes added to the chocolate mixture while it is warm and left to cool.

The cake is also topped with some vegan chocolates that I bought online. To make the cake extra special, I added some gold flecks made by mixing gold decorating powder with a little water and flicking it onto the chocolate icing. I also sprayed the chocolates and cornflake clusters with a sparkly decorating spray, before arranging them on the top of the cake.